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Saturday, November 12, 2011
Pregame: Stanford-Oregon

By Kevin Gemmell

STANFORD, Calif. -- It's probably safe to assume that Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and running back Stepfan Taylor will play a major role in the outcome of this game – one way or the other.

Here’s three Stanford players to keep an eye on who could have a major impact on the game.
  1. WR Griff Whalen: With Chris Owusu out, Whalen is likely to be Luck’s No. 1 target. In the past four games, Whalen has been targeted 31 times by Luck and he has 24 catches for 341 yards and a touchdown.
  2. NG Terrence Stephens: He has nine tackles in the past three games -- but where he thrives is blowing opponents off the ball and occupying space and blockers. That keeps the offensive linemen off of the middle linebackers and outside linebackers and allows the back four to make plays.
  3. RB Tyler Gaffney: Whether it’s running the Wildcat or catching a screen, Gaffney has essentially taken over as the No. 2 back behind Taylor. The more successful he is, the less the Cardinal will have to lean on Taylor so he can be as fresh as possible and continue to grind out 6-plus yards per carry.